Biggies: Seafood; Carlstadt; 430 Rt 17S @ Broad St; 19/17/$33; 201-933-4000; www.biggiesclambar.com; Truly a seafood-centric sports bar that is always popular due to drink specials and food specials and overall great pricing; It’s a fun place to go; Don’t expect expert service if its busy; Known for amazing clams; Hoboken and Ramsey locations not listed on my site; Cheesecake Factory sized menu (and quality). Nice raw bar. Known for their bar scene. Roasted clams, Oysters Rockefeller, Great Wings & Soups, Dozens of sandwiches including a Lobster Roll
Rudy’s Seafood Restaurant: Seafood; Cliffside Park; 591 Anderson Av; 24/15/$35; 201-943-9252; Pizzeria & restaurant; Super casual for dinner; Has a full bar; Tons of regulars; Old school feel; Seafood Salad, Grilled Shrimp, “Pot of Clams”, Sautéed Calamari, Blackened Scallops, and lots of chicken & veal entrees. Fresh pasta dishes and amazing heros. Ideal for lunch or casual weekday dinner. http://rudyscliffsidenj.com/;
The Hill: Seafood; Closter; 252 Schraalenburgh Rd; 27/22/$64; 201-899-4700; www.thehillcloster.com; Chef Ben Pollinger, formally of Oceana in NYC brings his Michelin starred talents to Bergen County; The former Harvest space is gorgeous inside featuring the beamed high ceilings and wood-burning fireplace – with a more modern décor than in the past; Menu is New American / Seafood and although pricy, is worth the splurge; The Soft Shell crabs were outstanding and the service excellent despite the fact they just opened; I was there on day #3; Closed Monday; Full bar. Foodies will rejoice.
Jack’s Lobster: Seafood; Edgewater; 1040 River Rd; 24/12/$46; 201-224-2808; http://jackslobstershack.com/; Extremely small almost take-out location; Amazing fresh soups, lobster and sandwiches; Clam Strips, Steamers, Steampots with seafood galore; Signature Lobster Roll Maine or Connecticut style; Crab Salad. King Crab, Snow Crab or Dungeness Crab legs. Just seafood heaven – but uncomfortable setting. BYO helps.
Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood; Edgewater; 541 River Rd; 20/23/$52; 201-840-9311; Replaced Crab House. Regional chain restaurant comes to Edgewater; Food quality reviews are mixed so far – but the insanely beautiful views and great drinks are not. Happy Hour Sun-Fri 3-7pm with $5 drafts, $6 wine & martinis; Iced Seafood tower, Seared Ahi Tuna, Charbroiled Oysters or Shrimp, Bronzino, King Crab, Lobster Tails, Lots of Fish. www.mitchellsfishmarket.com/home.php
Oceanos: Seafood; Fair Lawn; 2-27 Saddle River Rd; 25/22/$62; 201-796-0546; www.oceanosrestaurant.com; Just a wonderful, pleasant surprise; Affordable, and perfectly tasty Greek inspired seafood; Soft Shell Crabs in season are enormous; Homemade bread; Romantic courtyard in summer; Welcoming service; Try the Mediterranean spreads; Full Raw Bar; Huge selection of hot seafood entrees. Even a Rib Eye. Excellent, mature evening found here. Chilean Sea Bass, Grilled Calamari, Grilled Yellowfin Tuna.
Oceanaire: Seafood; Hackensack; 175 Riverside Mall; 22/22/$55; 201-343-8862; www.theoceanaire.com/Home.aspx; This high end mini chain attempts to be another Legal Sea Food but needs some work; Slightly overpriced and average service; M-F Happy Hour $5-$7 appetizers & drinks 4-7pm; For dinner, great Raw bar; King Crab, Twin Lobster Tails, bout 5 different cuts of steaks. Mahi Mahi, Artic Char, Crispy Soft Shell Crabs, Seabass.
Seafood Gourmet: Seafood; Maywood; 103 W Pleasant Av; 25/12/$45; 201-843-8558; www.seafood-gourmet.com; Long time seafood market has added a dining room; Freshest seafood from local fishermen; Menu features all kinds of broiled or grilled or fried fish entrees; Raw Bar; Lobster; About 20 appetizers; King and Snow Crab legs; Some pasta dishes; Try the fish and chips. Shack-like setting. BYO; Lunch or dinner. Take-out.
Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen: Seafood; Montclair; 183 Glenridge Av; 25/22/$56; 973-744-0068; Large, wonderful seafood menu; Open feel and kitchen; BYO; Fun, welcoming setting that’s both rustic and chic; Tons of grilled fish entrees as well as shellfish; See website for menu and great photos; Worth the trip. Monkfish osso buco; Lobster & Shrimp; Nice raw bar menu; Awesome oysters; Best seafood in Essex county 2 years running. Just love this place. Bronzino, Lobster sliders, Little Neck Clams. http://finseafoodandoysterbar.com/montclair/;
Halcyon Seafood Brasserie: Seafood; Montclair; 114 Walnut St; 22/24/$48; 973-744-4450; www.halcyonbrasserie.com; Freshest fish; Excellent cocktails at bar or upstairs lounge; Bar scene worth it alone; Inviting marble décor; Closed Monday; Only downside – iffy service; Date friendly; Seafood chowder; Tuna Tartare; Salmon 3 ways App; Moules Frites; Chatham Cod; Sautéed Lobster; Sea Bass; Coconut curried shrimp; Yellowfin Tuna. Drinks can be highly overpriced.
Bonefish Grill: Seafood; Paramus; 601 From Rd @ Ridgewood; 21/19/$41; 201-261-2355; www.bonefishgrill.com; Mini-chain seafood restaurant – basically an upscale Red Lobster; From Outback’s management; Opens 4pm daily; Website is great – listing food and drink daily specials; Well prepared grilled fish and seafood entrees; Excellent appetizers; Next to great shopping center; Full bar w/ creative drinks. Try bang bang shrimp;
Legal Sea Foods: Seafood; Paramus; 1 Garden St Plaza; 23/19/$48; 201-843-8483; www.legalseafoods.com; For years a great experience; Lobster Roll, Chowder, Fried Clams, Blackened Raw Tuna, Crab Cakes, and Surf and Turf – all outstanding; Try the Lobster bake; Best chain on the east coast. They are a polished product; If you ever make it to Boston – go to Park Square location. Great drinks from bar as well. In seafood restaurant-lacking Bergen County, it’s a great place to go.
Chart House: Seafood; Weehawken; Pier D-T, Lincoln Harbor; 22/25/$66; 201-348-6628; www.chart-house.com; Eye popping panorama view of Manhattan skyline; Excellent seafood delicacies; Lunch served on weekends only; Seafood and Steak are ways to go; Good, spacious bar scene; Pricy- but worth it for the atmosphere. Ideal for a romantic date; Take a walk outside & gaze at Manhattan afterwards. National chain now. Lava cake dessert. Hummus Trio. Yellowfin Ahi Tuna; Mahi Mahi. Sea Bass. Happy Hour weekdays 4:30-6:00.